A manager needs to use as many methods as possible to involve the team in decision making and planning. Communication channels need to be kept open and flexible, so that the team can voice their opinions and the manager can give and seek information, ideas and feedback.
Methods will vary according to the type of team and the work environment. Ideally this open communication should be both formal and informal.
Benefits of involving the team
When a manager makes opportunities for the team to contribute to the planning and decision making process, this will enhance team morale and productivity. When the team contributes to the development of a plan they are more likely to “take ownership” of the plan’s success.
Involving the team in decision making empowers the team and demonstrates that they are valued. It helps to focus on goals rather than day to day tasks. Teams who are empowered in this way tend to be more open to change, innovative and creative.
On a practical level, the decision itself is also likely to be better than the manager would have made without team input. The manager has a “big picture” focus and can lose sight of the details which need to be taken into account. Members of the team may be specialists in a particular area – whereas the manager should be a specialist in management. They may raise technical or operational issues that need to be taken into account when making the decision.
Disadvantages of not involving the team
If a manager “imposes decisions from above” then the team will not feel valued or empowered. In effect, this approach implies that the team’s opinions are not worth having. As a result, team members can become apathetic and treat their job as a chore in order to make a living. They will lose focus on goals because they have no power to influence outcomes. Instead they will focus on the day to day routine tasks and have difficulty prioritising their work. Often in such cases the highest priority becomes being seen to be busy.
In the worst case scenario this can lead to a culture of apathy and significant reduction in productivity. Workers who possess initiative and wish to take pride in their work can become frustrated at their inability to contribute to meaningful outcomes and as a result they may resign. Workers who lack initiative and are less productive are likely to remain. In the long run, the majority of the team will be the less productive workers without initiative.
Written by Sandy Welton: https://trainingresourcesrto.com.au/
Please post your thoughts below.
It appears to be common sense to involve a team in effective decisions but so often managers dictate what their team should do and it really shows from a HR perspective, how ineffective and disengaging this type of management style is. Sometimes the team may not be able to input into a decision but that can also be clearly communicated so the team is still empowered and engaged.
It certainly seems more common in todays workplaces that decisions are made without involving those that may be in a position to add value to the discussion first. Whether it be because of ignorance that this is a good idea, lack of time to consider various ideas, or management styles and personalities that don’t allow for it, it’s a shame that this is producing so many employees that now decide not engage and contribute. Any change in management style that focusses on including the team and their ideas when its possible to do so must be a good thing.
Involving the team in decision making is very beneficial as it allows some insight into their thought patterns and gives a manager a chance to get to know staff members better. Insight can also be gained into the job knowledge each member possesses, letting a manager assess where training resources can be better utilised. The prospects for advancement of the team members becomes obvious as strong leaders emerge when they feel empowered and valued.
When a manger involves all members of the team it enhances team morale and productivity. Provides and promotes innovation and ideas that the manager may not have thought off. Giving a range of ideas that will benefit the team’s performance in which the team has contributed and they feel valued.
Very true Denai, when the team is able to contribute you have the advantage of a variety of ideas from different perspectives and this provides great opportunities for leaders to use and explore options.
These are all great advantages of having team member contribution Glenise, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I feel the advantages of involving each member of the team are many. I would like to list a few below (these are from my own experience as a team leader):
1) New ideas which can be very innovative.
2) Improves team and individual morale.
3) Encourages individual loyalty and commitment to the success of the organisation.
4) Opens communication between team members and management resulting in increased performance.